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Washington Journal

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Us 35, U.s. 22, United States 20, Npr 17, America 17, Washington 14, New York 10, Japan 10, Libya 8, California 8, C-span 7, Florida 7, U.n. 6, China 6, Arkansas 6, West Virginia 6, Missouri 6, Charleston 5, Alaska 5, Pacific 5,
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  CSPAN    Washington Journal    News/Business. Journalists and  
   policy-makers take viewer questions; newspaper articles.  

    March 18, 2011
    7:00 - 10:00am EDT  

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e budget committee member todd akin on what is ahead for federal budget negotiations. after that, david applegate of the u.s. geological survey will discuss the threat of earthquakes and other july 6 -- your logic hazards. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] host: good morning, friday, march 18. we will open up the phone lines for your comments today on the story that is most important to you. we will put the phone numbers on the screen right away. unfolding news about the u.n. security council and possible air strikes against libya, and continuing crises in japan and the budget story at home. the most significant new was story. we will go to your phone calls right away to hear what is most important to you in a week of unfolding big issues.
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we will go to the newspapers as we are waiting for your calls. as you can see, britain, france, and the united states are lined up for air strike against coffee -- gaddafi. it suggests in the newspapers the airplanes may well immediately. "the chicago tribune" tells us american officials expect the united states would do the heavy lifting in a campaign that may include air strikes on tanks and artillery and at the same time u.s. officials cautioned the united states and allies intend to limit their involvement, allowing for no troops on the ground. the libyan story, japan story, and the budget situation at home. the continuing resolution that punts the decisions on the budget until the beginning of april. they left town this friday morning. we would like to hear which of
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these stories are most important to you this friday morning. let's begin with a call from san antonio, texas. robert on the independent line. caller: am i on? good morning. i wanted to say that the most significant story i believe is what is happening in the middle east with all of these uprisings and the people wanting democracy. i find it very significant, even though all of these things are happening across the world like japan, i find this very significant because even though america has not intervened with these countries to try to make than democracies, they themselves have tried to make themselves free of dictators and other powers that they did not have control of. host: robert, what do you think of this particular instance with the united nations out suggesting military force is appropriate in libya?
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caller: i believe military force would only be appropriate if our country were to be in danger, simply because when we get involved in other countries' problems, then the entire world will believe that any time they have a problem, america can help them immediately. that they themselves don't need to help themselves. we would be like superman -- whenever somebody has a problem the call out for the only superpower to help them. host: your point of the stories is that you think the population of to be working organically without support from the u.s.? caller: the big thing we want is democracy. i particularly don't believe in democracy. i believe in a democratic republic, which is different. the government with laws, where democracy is simply a government created only by the people and controlled only by the people. host: thank you.
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roberts most sick of the story is the middle east. here is "the guardian" this morning. a big headline on the paper today. france has offered that use of its military bases and the coast. it several arab countries -- says the paper -- will join operations. what is the most agree the story this week? caller: is that we have some of its stores out there. the most significant stories today have a lot to do what is going on in japan. i think we should pray for those people in japan and for those in the reactors' trying to fix the
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nuclear reactors. it seems to be that the iea has not going over there to help these people out. i do not know what is going on. they are not getting the information like they should. the government of japan has done -- coming out speaking on what is going on. these people really need help over there. they are one of our most significant allies. they had in the earthquake, they have the storm. it is snowing over there now. and people are suffering and there are people walking around days, they don't know where they are. if they will have a country again. they need for americans to go in and helped -- we have ships out. we have aircraft carrier out, waiting to go in. but what i heard last night on the news, a lot of people still suffering over there. host: looking at photographs from the morning newspapers. in fact, this man, and obvious
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misery, on the "globe and mail" frontpage, very popular newspaper photograph today. in virtually every newspaper. what it depicts is a man in front of his collapsed house. his mother still missing, probably buried in the rubble. that caller mentioned the u.s. ships on the coastline. in fact, it is the ronald reagan carrier group. what is -- of the ships is the u.s.s. trouble, a guided missile carrier. -- u.s. s treble. some of the sailors on board the ship post-it photographs of their mission. let us take a look at those as we listen to our next telephone call from kentucky. what a, a republican. caller: good morning. my dad used to -- power plants, they used to burn coal and
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trash. he used to go of the power plants -- you know, they are safe. it is just one real good, you know? now it is all nuclear. no clear is bombs. that is what they make nukes out of. nuclear power plants are bad for the country. and taxes are getting too high. we need to start drilling oil and we need to free open the market a little bit better than what it is. and all of these environmentalists need to be fired. and the unions are gone. it is just getting out of control in washington, d.c., and somebody needs to get in there and shake it all out. host: thank you for your call. photographs of operations off the coast of japan. guided missile cruiser, one of 14 ships deployed to assist the people of japan and their 1- week-old dealing with a tsunami,
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the earthquake, and the nuclear crisis. we are looking for your most significant news story this week, in a week of a very momentous issues domestically and across the globe. atlanta, georgia, is next. is it a call from danny who is a democrat. caller: first of all, my heart goes out to the good people of japan. but susan, the most important story is what is going on in our state of michigan, susan. why don't you all have somebody come down and sit there and explain exactly what governor schneider in in michigan is doing? heat is giving himself dictatorial powers to go in and say -- if a natural crisis
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happens, go in and -- dissolve the city council and local government, and appoint his own person who is not elected by the people and who is neither accountable to the people, to go in and literally take over the city. and then also, he can take over the city with no redress from the people. if you are a tea party representative, and this is -- this guy is taking power away from the city government and putting it to the state government. it is against everything that the tea party say that they stood for. host: danny, atlanta, georgia. budget crisis of cities and states top of the list. next is california. an ibp.
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caller: hello, thank you for taking my call. the first time the u.n. has its proper role is to help people in disasters and not to go create war zones as they are in the middle east and creating the state of israel, which is the most fascist, a terrorist country -- host: we will move on to a call from san diego. republican. most significant news story of the week. caller: thank you for c-span. i believe the big story the past couple of years as president obama, what he said it to deal with over the last couple of years, from afghanistan to the mexican border. the oil spill, the economy, to egypt, a gaddafi, to japan.
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i think the big story is the big obama bust. the lack of leadership, the lack -- to prioritize, really to put his thumb and down and be a strong leader, i think is a big story. if you ask me and if you ask anyone else if leadership and experience matters in the oval office, i say, yes, it does. host: story about president obama in "the financial times." written by richard mcgregor.
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related to the president, this story is in "the new york times." reporting the top contributors to president obama's election campaign were given an ambitious set of marching orders --
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450 of them will be taking the lead in raising money for the president's reelection bid. new york is up next. gary, independent. you are on the air. caller: i have been in the military for 15 years, and i realize they don't get what the bullets and all that stuff over there, they don't come cheap. the united states is spending to much money on all of this ammunition, bothering everyone else, like japan and all that, we should take care of our own back yard first and take all of that money and put it towards our medicare and all that stuff, our va. we will probably be another trillion dollars in debt just going over there. host: thank you very much. on twitter --
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bbc has on its web site a series of pictures of the libyan revolt. let's look at a couple of them here the ipad. you can see these pictures. from the bbc website. as we do, we are going to take our next step -- telephone call. cape cod, massachusetts. fred, republican. caller: i think the most and poor in news story is yet to be written. that is, what effect, if any, will nuclear rain in japan have on the produce of california. will gravitate to the rest of the country? host: the president yesterday talked about the danger to the united states. let's listen to a little of what he had to say. >> second, i know that many americans are also worried about potential risks to the united states. so, i want to be very clear.
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we do not expect harmful levels of radiation to reach the united states, whether it is the west coast, hawaii, alaska, where u.s. territory in the pacific. it lets me repeat that. we do not expect harmful levels of radiation to reach the west coast, hawaii, alaska, or u.s. territories in the pacific. that is the judgment of our nuclear regulatory commission and many of our experts. furthermore, the centers for disease control and prevention and public health experts cannot recommend that people and the united states take precautionary members -- measures beyond stay informed. going forward, we will continue to keep the american people fully updated, because i believe you must know what i know as present. host: here is a photograph from "the new york times" this morning. it depicts the earthquake and tsunami survivors leaving home, carrying their belongings,
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retrieved from damaged houses in miyagi prefecture in northern japan. in this photo, appearing in some and places, of this grieving man by his house with his mother buried in the rubble. below it, writing about something called black swans, unlikely event with unparalleled dangers.
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in our last segment, we will talk about the fault lines in the united states, how we record alert people. our last segment. jacksonville, florida. cloudy it is up next -- claudia is up next. caller: to add on to the caller from georgia, the way the republican governors and the state of wisconsin, ohio, indiana, florida, are taking rights of the working class people and giving them to the corporations. they are dismantling unions as much as they can a parent and they are enabling the gap between the people who have and the people who have not. so, that is more important to me
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because charity begins at home. it is good to worry about people in other countries but we have to think about our country here unless we want to turn into a third world country. that is more important to me. thank you. host: claudia from jacksonville, florida. a tweet -- long island, new york. david, democrat. caller: i would like to beg for c-span to please bring brian lamb back at least once a year. host: what you missing? caller: the man was just unbelievable demeanor, and the way he would read the newspapers to us and go through stories was exceptional. i greatly miss his presence. i feel as though he is so close but yet so far away.
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host: he is right on the other side of the wall and probably enjoying that you are saying that. a very involved in our program. caller: the most important story is this no clear holocaust besieged upon us. i hope the moderator and producers would bring these questions into any formal or experts you have on the program and ask them -- if it is unsafe for the nuclear waste to be deposited in yucca mountain because of instability, why is it acceptable to have it on the cliffs and oceanside's of the country and the world? a very unstable product. we have been warned that if it would happen it would be the end of all mankind. more importantly, they say you want cheap energy, right? that is why they have to provide the nuclear power. if you kill everybody, which is what will happen, you will have no customers. that question is null and void. host: dave, thank you, from long
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island. the japanese prime minister is making a live address. we will dip in live to get a sense of what he is saying. >> prime minister kan calls on the people who i living in evacuation -- he says, that he knows that the evacuation will continue for some time. he hopes that they will take good care of their health and hopefully they will be able to move to a place of living where they can feel a little more safe. he hopes the people will persevere and continue to e. rcise their patientc he says he will repeat this point again, and that is for the japanese people, this is a great test of all of the people of japan. that is the current situation.
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he says, and the past history of japan, this small island nation, as so they say, we have made a miraculous economic growth. thanks to the effort of every one of the japanese citizens. and that is how the nation japan was built. with the tsunami and earthquake, we don't have any room to be pessimistic or to be discouraged. we cannot do so. we are going to create japan once again from scratch. that is the strong resolve that we all must share. he says that, he hopes that all the japanese people will face this challenge together. host: some words to the japanese
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nation from its leadership. as we take our next telephone call, let's take a look at photographs "usa today" published in their paper, their photographers capturing aspects of the japanese crisis. columbus, ohio. jerry is a republican. you are on the air. caller: i would like to comment about the nuclear issue as well as the budget issue. just these designs of the nuclear reactors -- even though there have been flaws pointed out, these are 40 years old, and yet at the same time we have not had a massive meltdown like we had at chernobyl. the control rods were inserted immediately upon this anomaly and the earthquake itself. -- upon a tsunami an earthquake itself. every minute that goes on, the reactor's cooling off. the more time they have, the more likely that any major
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incident beyond what is happening now would not occur. that is just the way the physics are. going to the budget issue. we needed to start thinking about the debt. we need to put far more emphasis on it. the people who are slamming the republicans or the tea party because of their focus on reducing spending have got to recognize, we are in a debt crisis. we cannot continue this kind of spending. you can't put it on the back of the pentagon, because if you defunded pentagon 100%, that, including all the veterans programs, you cannot still eliminate our budget deficits. entitlement programs must be addressed. there is an explosive growth in them. they are our biggest growing part of the budget. and they will overwhelm us. we will end up having to spend so much money on the servicing
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the debt by paying interest that we will end up not having any money for anything else. host: thank you. next, a comment from jennifer, a democrat. caller: thank you, c-span, for having me. i just wanted to say that with everything that is going on are around the world -- around the world, i think the top story is what is happening in japan. my heart and prayers are going out to everyone in japan. but we do need to see what is actually happening there. there is so much that is going on but we are putting our focus and attention of the war at all scared that needs to be our main focus and attention. not only the earthquake, they have had a tsunami, they have people who are missing. thousands and thousands beyond
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those -- beyond believed to have died. -- beyond belief who have died. the nuclear reactor erred -- reactors, nuclear rain cloud coming to the united states. i think if we cannot put our country -- focus into assisting in a country that has been an ally, then we will eventually paying the cost for it in the long run. i know that everybody thinks -- this is definitely something we need to think about. we need to put our focus of attention on helping those who helped us in the past. i just wanted to voice that opinion, because i did not think anybody is mentioning that. a situation where japan has built this and failed -- this is a situation where mother nature decided this is not going to work. this is a situation where the earthquake, the tsunami, the
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snow -- just unbelievable. host: thank you for your call from phoenix. some information about nuclear power around the world. from wikipedia. but let me start with the list of countries with the number of operating nuclear power plants. united states topped the list with 104 currently in operation. france right below that with 58. japan and third place, 55. russia, 32. correa, 21. india, 20. canada, 18. germany, which has shut down operations, 17. the ukraine, 15. and the people's republic of china, 13. but those numbers do not suggest a percentage of electric power comes from nuclear power plant. france, which was no. 2 on the list with 58, actually gets a
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75% of its power, electricity, from nuclear. the united states, only 20% of its power even though it has the most number of nuclear power plants, in terms of actual operating units. mean, john is an independent. good morning. caller: one of the stories got my attention. yesterday i called the state department and the japanese embassy and i made the suggestion to them as far as the rides go -- i suggest that they tried to use liquid nitrogen. i do not know what adverse affect, if any, would have to keep the right school. at least -- -- to keep the rods cool. at least it would by then some time. gaddafi -- i think that arab nations should take him out. the u.n. did the right thing.
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but the arab nations, or the middle east nations, should try to take this guy out. he is a lunatic. as far as public radio goes, even if they stop the funding for a while anyway, they could always repeal that were voted back in somewhere down the road. it is only a temporary thing -- until we get our fiscal thing in order. anyway, it has been a while since i called you people. have a good day. host: thank you, john but nice to hear from you. let us hear from republican senator jeff sessions, a press conference after the continuing resolution, the short-term money, was passed. >> we need to begin to do something now. when our majority leader, senator reid, proposed that not $61 billion, but that we reduce spending only $4 billion
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throughout the rest of this fiscal year, i said then and believe now that that is only the product of a -- being in the washington bubble. we are bubblized people. we are in denial of the reality of the crisis that i faced -- and i did not want to talk down the american economy. i believe the american worker is competitive, willing to work, is competitive, can be competitive, but we cannot burgonet worker down with excessive debt. host: here is "the new york times." senator sessions was part of the press conference that happens afterward. jon kyl in the lead, lindsey graham. "the new york times" piece. the resolution here will finance the government through april 8.
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members of both parties in chambers says the move averted a government shutdown, should be the last of the kind -- and looking for the most significant news story for the week. st. louis. bob is a democrat. caller: i think the most sick of the story of the week is the palestinian people are still being -- most significant story of the week is the palestinian people are still being slaughtered. what about a no-fly zone for israel? are you people allowed to say anything about israel without us being hung up on? i listened to this and any time anybody says something about israel you reach for the button and you hang up on them. host: bob? that is really not true. we talk about it and we have guessed segments on regularly. the reason i reach for the button in the last caller was
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the strength of invectives. it is fine to have a civil discussion and voice your opinion but i think we can do without a string of invectives what we are having a discussion about issues. delphi, indiana. chalk is a republican. are you there? -- chuck. caller: the nuclear plants -- i still feel they are safe if they are done right. if they are built right. the water is necessary for the reactors and everything. i see no harm in them. what happened over there, you had an earthquake -- yes, you are going to have residual stuff. i took a course in nuclear, biological, and meet urology neurological -- meteorological
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-- the way the wind is traveling i do not believe we will see any reason at all. i believe we do not have anything to fear from this deal in japan. i spent some time in japan. they are very wonderful people. i have a lot of respect for them. this earthquake causing this damage, this could happen to any one of our plants, and we would be on the same vote. -- boat. i see there were too many and one location but along with that, nothing wrong with nuclear energy. host: some stories about japan from the morning newspapers. from the money page of "usa today" --
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also in the paper today -- expatriates' depart. some companies set up shop in the south. group of seven to intervene to stabilize the value of the yen, the lead story in business day section. below it, the affect of the crisis on u.s. companies. lacking part, gm will close plants. from detroit -- general motors says it will temporarily shut a truck plant in louisiana because it cannot get enough japanese- made parts. looking for the most significant news story in the week in your eyes. alexandria, virginia. lesley, democrat. caller: two things.
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one is the planned parenthood cutting by the extremists in the house of representatives. these cuts will result and i don't know -- i do not know how many millions of young ladies having not getting breast mammograms, i think it is an outrage especially when you consider they want to cut all these social programs, saying how dire the things is. we have a revenue problem that taxes have never been -- you have to go back to the 1950's to find revenue this low. it is as much a revenue problem as it is a spending problem. we have kids going to bed hungry. it is on tv. if the american people do not speak out about this injustice, billionaires -- if things are so
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bad for republicans, why are they giving billionaires' tax breaks and cutting benefits for kids going to bed hungry? a viewer tweets -- sebring, florida, is next. richard is an independent. caller: good morning, susan. my favorite hostas susan swain, by the way. she handles the program very well. i think most likely the most significant story has not been really printed. it has been nibbled around the edges by donald trump. to president obama really is and where is he taking the country? donald trump made the statement the other day that we don't really know too much about his background at all -- especially
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his education years. brought up the fact that his mentor from the time he was 12 until 17 was a man named frank marshall davis, who was a card- carrying communist, a member of the black panthers, and also had an fbi file two inches thick and was a drug dealer in hawaii. this was his mentor that his grandparents decided was of the best man to mentor him through his teenage years. and knowing all of this and the way he has made his decisions and lead the country, i think it is alarming to myself, and that think the people out here, the tea party has picked up on it. they figured it out. the news media has not. hopefully before too much damage
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has been done to the country, it will realize that we made a big mistake and electing this present. host: richard from sebring, florida. next is queens, new york. willey, a republican. caller: good morning. i am calling -- the reason i am calling is because president obama is traveling to brazil this week. three major stories going on. japan, the middle east, and the debt and which we are borrowing $5 billion a day. i think that is ridiculous. host: willie, thank you for your call. regarding libya, first of all, some basic facts. north african country, fourth largest on the continent, population, 6.4 million as of july of last year. the area is slightly larger than the state of alaska.
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the capital, tripoli, on the mediterranean coast use stories concerning the decision of that you end on the no-fly zone. "the new york post" has this headline, "bomb's away." "the washington post" -- benghazi, which has been a rebel stronghold, braces for attack. alongside it, shortly after the vote, obama called -- president obama called british prime minister david cameron -- five countries that abstained -- russia, china, germany, brazil,
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india. st. augustine, florida. lynn is an independent. you are on the air. caller: good morning. thank you for c-span. it is the only place i know where a normal person with common sense can call up and offer an opinion. i think on the libya issue, gaddafi is out of there. i applaud the arabs for stopping the killing of their own muslims -- which are not supposed to kill a muslims, as far as i can understand the koran. i think the most under-reported story is that our government is finally making people take responsibility for pregnancy, for their own lives, and they are taking responsibility for the money that they spent that doesn't belong to them, that it belongs to us. they have taken the golden goose
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that used to lay the eggs and they are choking it to death. and it has been going on for a long time. i think that is one of the stories that has been under reported, is we are finally starting to take responsibility. host: thank you, lynn, from san augustine. michael tweets -- another florida caller. this time, four lauderdale. francis, a democrat. caller: good morning, everyone. thank you very much. commenting on the gentleman from alexandria, virginia, who just said that if a the house passes that restriction on funding for planned parenthood -- planned parenthood would not be able to give any more mammograms. my understanding is that they did not give mammograms presently -- do not give
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mammograms' presently. the other point, there is a federal law prohibiting tax money from being spent for abortions except under the medicaid program in cases of -- when the mother's life is at risk or rape or. nevertheless, certain forms of birth control which are subsidized by taxpayers can cause them -- abortion. this is not being enforced. the morning after pill can both prevent pregnancy -- or conception, rather, and also could cause abortion depending on the timing is taken after conception already occurred. the bill weakens the uterus so the embryo cannot attach and that is a form of abortion, too, and our taxpayer money is being
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spent for that. >> a viewer suites -- host: a couple more stories as we talk about a busy news week. jonesville, virginia. floyd is a republican. good morning. you are on c-span. caller: good morning, susan. good to talk to you again. what amazing -- amazes me is the things going on all over the world. you see things going on in different nations and it is amazing that you could open your bible of, matthew 24, and see what is going on because disciples asked jesus will be the signs and he said nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom and there will be earthquakes, famine, pestilence and different places and all of these are the beginning of sorrows -- and the words saros, when you look up it means labor pains, a woman
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having a baby, this is the beginning of it. host: we have had earthquakes cents recorded history. you think something is different? caller: lookout big it was? -- look how big it was. host: just previewing some data were collected for our last segment about earthquakes. the u.s. geological survey has earthquakes going back to 1556 with an 8.0 magnitude -- i do not know how they measure did then. estimated 800,000 deaths. 1138 in syria, 230,000 deaths. sounds like earthquakes have been part of our human existence. caller: yes, but -- i watch a lot of news and i see a lot of the scientists talking, how come so many right now and a lot of people asking that question and many of them striking at the same time, this is part of it. but the real thing is the beginning of sorrows, which means it will be the end of the last times, the sorrows part --
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that is what you want to really check out and mark chapter 13, jesus said the parable of the fig tree -- understand a parable of the fig tree and that is when israel becomes a nation but in 19 -- in 1948 becomes a nation and when israel becomes the nation this will be the last generation of people. 1948 to the last generation -- how long as a generation? host: republican from jonesboro, virginia. we have a tweet -- todd akin is a member of armed services committee and he will be our guest 8:30 a.m. eastern time. a final comment from our viewers on most said kevin neustar. carl, democrat from kansas city, missouri. caller: i would like to mention a few things.
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but first of all, the nuclear energy scientists are the most polarized both -- both for and against. i am somewhat qualified but no means an expert. there is no threshold for radiation exposure. it is like when you get hit with a bullet, it depends on where you get hit and who you are. some people get a high dose and they survive and others get low doses and end up with leukemia. i would like to have you done by somebody on there who knows about the particles. because the different particles -- when they had atmosphere testing, it takes the place of calcium in the bones of people who grew up in the 1950's, like me. i am an old man. the other thing i wanted to mention is especially about the idea -- the speed limit, if you raise it to 70 you will accept many more dead people. the same thing with the so- called safe levels. the higher you get, the more
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risk you have. that is all there is. there is no threshold. it is a straight line. the more, the more. if you get somebody in there who knows about the particles -- the so-called degraded uranium. they talk about a million pounds. the waste product is a worst -- worse than the fuel because the waste product is already more radioactive than the actual raw materials that they used to enrich uranium. host: we need to wrap up because we are out of time. caller: the united states and its sophisticated military equipment put more uranium out there in a former radiation in iraq and iraq in the wars with the armor-piercing shells
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degrading uranium. host: appreciate all of your thoughts and comments about this week of big news stories. one of the debates in congress yesterday was on the funding of npr. the larger budget debate of next year -- it also brings the question of funding for public television and for public radio. our next guest, patrick butler, represents the public television stations across the united states and we will talk to him about public funding for public tv and radio. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
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>> this weekend on american history tv on c-span 3, the organization of american historians meeting beginning saturday morning at 8:00 eastern with offers offering insights of why the south seceded from the union and at 9:30 a.m. eastern, the rise and fall of one of the world leaders of energy, enron, then the tragedy of the triangle shirtwaist fire, 100 years later -- the deaths of 146 people, mostly young women, and a panel reflects on the terrorist attacks of september 11 as this year is the 10th anniversary. for a complete schedule, go to c-span.org/history or press the c-span colored button and have the schedules in mailed to you. >> if you recall in the 1960's and 1970's, we were writing off urban america. >> she had to the nonprofit partnership for new york city, working to keep this city the
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center of the business world. >> with wall street's reemergence, new york city was really pulled into the global economy, became america's gateway to that economy, and has really prospered ever since. >> what the rest of the interview sunday night on c- span's "q&a." this weekend on "road to the white house, what " candidate herman cain on whether he will run for the republican nomination. >> i put my toe in the water, it is not up to my neck. and the feedback we have gotten from people across this country, tens of thousands, willing to volunteer. >> this sunday at 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. eastern and pacific. >> the president and in the station believes we have to be looking very, very closely at the events in japan. as we said before, we have to apply whatever lessons that can be and will be learned.
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>> energy secretary steven chu and nuclear regulatory commission chairman were on capitol hill testifying on the energy department's fiscal year 2012 budget and nuclear power safety issues following the earthquake and tsunami in japan. once a complete hearing now online at the c-span video library -- watched the complete hearing. it is washington your way. >> "washington journal" continues. host: on your screen is patrick butler, president and ceo of the association of public television stations. how many are there? guest: 368 public television stations. host: we invited u.n. because yesterday the debate in the congress, which passed in the house of representatives, to be fun national public radio. we thought it was a good opportunity to talk about the countries history of funding public television and radio and make a pitch to the audience on what you think it should continue. first of all, almost since the
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creation, what the debate of the creation of the corporation for public broadcasting which sends money to both public television and radio, it has been controversial. in many years you and i have been in the town there have been a number of go-arounds to defund a public television and radio. why is it always such a source of debate? guest: i think part of it goes back to a philosophical issue that the government -- the question is whether the government ought to be involved in broadcasting and news and so forth as a philosophical matter. host: first amendment driven? guest: i think so. that is a respectable point of view and i understand it. but the act does saying quite specifically that programming in public broadcasting is supposed to be objective and fair, and so forth, and the congress has the right through its oversight to make sure that these kinds of standards are met. but there is a fire wall that
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was created, the reason for the corporation for public broadcasting was found it was to create the fire wall that protects the media and public broadcasting from undue political influence or interference. host: let's explain how that works. a number of members got to the floor with descriptions of how money gets funneled to public television and radio. congress appropriated in fiscal 2010, for hunting and $20 million to the corporation for public broadcasting. guest: the corporation for public broadcasting is a non- profit corporation established by congress but not a government agency, that is supposed to distribute these funds to local public radio stations and public television stations, according to a formula. 75% of the funds go to television stations, 25% to go to local public radio stations. there is a small portion of the
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funds that stay here in washington to go for public programming initiatives, and so forth, that cpb administers. but the lion's share goes to local public television and radio stations, and then they use that money to acquire programming and to do their local operations. host: yesterday i heard some members against the funding make the point that the money goes to local stations and they pay it right back to the national organizations in terms of dues. guest: they pay some of it to the national organizations in programming fees. there are some dues involved but the lion's share of that money goes for pulp -- programming fees, for the radio stations to buy programming's like "morning conditions" and "all things considered" and "card talk" -- and it is a system that works and it enables the smallest, most of rural stations to bring
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the best of american broadcasting to their audiences. host: let us stick with the television because you know it best -- they suggest, as you heard on the debate, that the localism is an important component that supplies, in an age when media companies are getting larger and larger, the public stations are able to create local programming. what is the record? how much of the money, either from federal sources or others, of the stations represent, go to locally originated program? guest: pettitte great deal but does but i was chairman of the mirror -- maryland public television station for years and we produced hundreds of hours of local programming every year. and that included regular programming on covering the state legislature, covering the arts in maryland, covering environmental issues like chesapeake bay, and so forth.
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and these are programs that are just not duplicated anywhere in the commercial world. it is a nice, big, very world out there, but we are the only people doing this. beyond that, things never see on television are really primary to our mission. we are deeply indebted in k-12 classrooms throughout the country, providing job training and all kinds of other things at the local level that people don't see much here in washington. host: the critics in congress say if it is so beneficial and have some users who value it, why can't they inc's help to fund it? guest: they do help to fund it. for every dollar in federal funds, these local stations generate about $6 in private donations, from viewers like you and corporations and from philanthropy. but it is a very hard matter to say that because we are
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successful in raising these private funds that there is no need for public funds. we do at lot of work, as i say, that is completely in the public interest in markets that would not be very well served at all by a private commercial means, and we think this system works very well. it is a relatively small federal contribution, bolstered by a much larger private contribution. host: "the hill" had a headline derive from an interview with you. what are you saying here? guest: at the end of the day there will be a good bipartisan majority in favor of continued federal funding for public broadcasting. there always have been. the past 40 years we have had republican presidents, democratic congresses, republican congresses, democratic congresses, who have
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always supported public broadcasting, not withstanding the fact there have been controversies from time to time i feel the bipartisan consensus will hold at the end of the day this year as well. host: what do you think of yesterday's vote, which in the end was completely partisan? every democrat voted in favor of continuing funding and all republicans voting to end it. guest: i thought yesterday's vote was kind of a curious exercise, if i may say so. it was brought to the house for -- house floor under emergency rules. i would have thought an emergency would have involved our involvement in two wars or that disaster in japan or in no- fly zone in libya or something, but the emergency was we had to defund and b are today, and i thought that was quite a curious set of priorities. but i do think in terms of the bipartisan nature of the
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legislation, i was hard to we did have seven republicans -- heartened that there were several republican to stood up and said we did not think it is the right way to go. i am not sure how seriously people took this vote yesterday because it really had nothing to do with funding. but congressional budget office said there was zero impact on the federal budget from this legislation yesterday. so i think when it comes down to an actual funding decision, we will have quite a few more republicans. host: we will start with a tweet -- guest: it is easier said than done. that is the problem. we operate under several statutory constraints. we are, by law, non-commercial. we are obliged to honor service standards of underwriting, which
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restrict our use of commercial considerations, and so forth. and you have to change a great many laws and regulations in order to give us this liberation that people are saying. and it is not the way to do it, to say, well, we will eliminate your funding today and good luck tomorrow. host: let's look at some of the numbers from the corporation of bulblet broadcasting about federal grants in fiscal year 2010. that is from cpb itself. a federal funding and the corporation for public broadcasting -- president obama asked for $451 million in the federal budget. the house gop proposal is to cut $85 million from the current budget.
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short-term extension eliminates $50 million of the 2011 funding. that was the cr passed yesterday? you are down 50 million. guest: cpb, if this goes through -- the president has decided, of course. but we suspect we will already be taking a hair cut of about $50 million, as you described, for the current fiscal year. which is not an easy thing for us to do. but we always said we are prepared to make a sacrifice that is proportionate with everybody else's. we understand the federal budget deficit challenge and we are prepared to do our part. but that is a very different thing than just the funding as altogether. .
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president reagan and confirmed to the senate where he served as chairman of public programs for the national endowment of the human it's and brings a lot of experience in this discussion to the table this morning. eugene, oregon, jordan up for patrick butler. caller: i was wondering what role the internet has played? is that something that the oppositions of fund being brings up about how useless public broadcasting is? because the internet is such a
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prevalent role in society that people can go online and find out whatever open information they like? guest: it has not replaced public broadcasting. it is part of the rich media universe we live in. part of the problem is that public television and public radio are obliged by law to provide universal service across america to every american we can possibly reach and we reach at least 99% of them. the internet, while it is nearly aou bikiubiquitous the broadban deployment is not as ubiquitous as we would like and there are many packets with internet service with respect to video streaming is not an option. we are using the internet within public pwraud kbroadcasting in education sector, job training sector and in other ways, public
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safety and so forth, and we think it is a powerful tool, as everybody else does and we hope to use it in even more inventive ways as time goes on. host: omaha, an independent. caller: i watch and listen to latino of public -- a lot of public pwrabroadcasting and i d contribute. i will definitely contribute if that fund goes away but the question i should ask and i'm not sure if the guest can answer if he is not a constitutional lawyer is what article in the constitution man decaddates tha government funds go to public broadcasting. guest: i'm not a constitutional lawyer and there is not a constitutional mandate to fund public broadcasting. but there is underlying
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everything we do a philosophy of the consent of governed and we are a self-governing society and that is the business that public television and public radio are in. we provide all kinds of educational informational services which nobody else does. our goal is to create a well educated, well informed cultured and civil society able to meet its responsibilities as a self-governing country. we think that is important work. that is the business we are in. that separates us from everybody else in the media world and we think that there is a constitutional underpinning to what we do that lies at the heart of our country. host: a member of the house sponsored h.r. 1076. here is a short piece of that. >> the real issue is the proper
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role of the federal government with fat public -- national public radio and whether programs and services that can be funded privately should receive taxpayer dollars. we live in an age of digital radio, digital streaming, commercial all news radio and talk shows many of which are streamed on the internet or satellite radio. these provide services of news and opinion without federal taxpayer dollars. npr should do the same. with the national debt over $13 trillion the government should not continue to fund n nonessential services. host: nonessential services being funded in the case of public broadcasting. guest: you have to put it in context. the services we provide are 1/10,000th of 1% of the federal budget. you could him fate all of public
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public pwrabroadcasting 1,000 t and not affect the deficit. this is not about money. there are much bigger pots of money the congress could identify that would be more availing to them of satisfying their budget challenge. the issue, i think, is to say what should public pwrabroadcas be doing and how it should change going forward? we have been in business 40 years and the american people appreciate it and we have by overwhelming margins been confirmed as the best use of taxpayer dollars second only to national defense. but it is obviously a matter in which we can always be improving our product and we would be happy to with the congress, f.c.c. and administration on how to improve going forward into the 21st century. but to say that, you know, with one vote you are on your own now
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without any reference to the complexity of the situation is a tad irresponsible. host: two communications that look at the commercial underwriting that appears on believe broadcasting, i will read them and talk about the process. >> randolph, vermont, a person i'm a huge fan of pbs and ncr and contributor but i have been dismayed -- here is a tweet from linda wouldn't the funding constitute a removal- talk about corporate sponsorship and what the rules are. >> it is heavily regulated. companies cannot run the same kinds of commercials they run on commercial television. they can identify themselves as
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a company that is trying to do something in the public interes interes interests. they are prohibited from any reference to cost or comparison with others or calls to action. i ran the health week series on pbs for five years back in the late 1990's and early 2000's and i had to pass up all pharmaceutical underwriting possibilities because each of them had a call to action as simple as contact your doctor about this and i couldn't use that kind of underwriting because of the rules. so it is constraining but there is a reason. if you want to change the rules and make them more liberal so we could entice a few more corporations to support us, that is something worth talking about. but while we are where we are, we are constrained from doing
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the things that would be second nature for a commercial broadcaster. host: in the wake of the juan williams firing at npr this issue was gaining speed among republicans. what is your reaction when you first saw the video of the public radio fund-raisers that were circulating with personal comments critical of conservatives. you are in the effort to retain funding. what was your reaction? >> i was dismayed, disgusted, i just thought it was reprehensible. it turns out that that tape was heavily doctored. but even with that the comments that were made by the npr executives were inexcusable. they flew in the face of all of the values that we cherish in this business. we are not in the business of choosing sides on the political spectr spectrum. we are not in business of saying that we don't need federal funding when we do.
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so, everything they were saying was wrong and has done us damage. host: garry duncan on tweurlt asks this question. since bill buckley died fame one conservative voice that headlineed a show on pbs. >> every friday night david brooks and mark shields are an interesting tag team on "washington week." i would like to see "firing line" come back but there is only one bill buck limit we have tucker carlson on the air and we were just on public radio last week. i think that the ideal as far as i'm concerned would be to have a full panoply of ideological and political opinions across the board. i hope we can do better as far as that is concerned but i think
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we do pretty well now. more to the point, the american people think we do. we have the highest trust rating of any medium, any news medium in the country by miles. so, people appreciate what we are doing and how we are doing it. host: next call is from atlanta, hilda. she is a democrat. good morning. caller: hello. host: you are on, hilda. caller: yes. i'm a listener of npr and pbs and i also watch c-span in the morning. this problem with npr has started on c-span with [inaudible] i think is his name who has a show that wants to go all over the country like npr
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do does. i think that is a conflict of interest on c-span and npr. i'm going to write to the head of c-span with a copy to f.c.c. apnd another institution. host: you are suggesting that c-span is talking about public broadcasting and is fund something a conflict of interest? caller: yes. host: how. caller: i watched him and i have the notes that i wrote so i'm going to write c-span. i don't know who the head is. host: you can send it to me if you would like, or you can send it to brian lamb and we will listen to your arguments. but we started this conversation
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with mr. butler suggesting that the discussion over public funding for public funding and public radio stations is as old as the country so do you think they have been withstand iing? guest: c-span is one of the great national treasures and i have been a fan since the first day you turned on your cameras. senator baker, my old boss in the united states senate, tried for 18 years to get television in the senate and it finally came in the year he left the senate. but we are all better off for having c-span here for opening up the windows of government, for letting a little sunshine in and letting people understand exactly how the government operates and i think that you have done a wonderful job for 35 years now and hope you will continue. host: we are talking about public broadcasting and a call from new jersey. you are on the air. caller: mr. butler, can i ask
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you one question? besides c-span, which i think it is a great, grit network, could you name me one conservative on your network besides charles krauthammer? there has to be one or two more conservatives that you could put on with all of your programming. host: you were dialing in when we were dealing with that question before. do you have anything else for him? guest: i will repeat, we had william f. buckley for 30 years. we have had david brooks, tucker carlson. we have a full range of opinion on both public television and radio. i would like to see more and i think that in the fullness of time we will see more. i think that it is important that public broadcasting be recognized as the place where all kinds of opinions are considered and valued and
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respect respected. back to by days with senator baker, his mantra was a decent respect for differing point of views and that is the standard to which public broadcasting ought to be held. host: we have this do others get government tax breaks? guest: no, we are all non propr. host: cnn, msnbc and fox get tax breaks looking at government subsidies from another direction is the point. guest: i see. i don't know the answer to that. i'm sorry. host: upper marlboro, maryland, dennis is a democrat. we are discussing public broadcasting. caller: thank you for the opportunity and i just would say god bless c-span and public television. i want to say right off the top, i don't want to embarrass mr. butler, but i think you,
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sir, are truly a patriot in the sense that we have these right wing e wingers wrapping themselves around the flag and that kind of thing. but the most important thing to a citizenry is information, unbiased information, clear-cut information. what npr does for me and c-span, i don't know which is the greatest between the two because you are so bright and so refreshing. you are just so informative. the only word i can come up with, when i'm watching you on tv, you look like a patriot. and, of course, our beautiful hostest is always poised. and together. even when she gets the nut
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calls. host: thank you, dennis, for all the kind words. what do you think of public broadcasting and federal funding? >> it is such a small part of the budget that it is ridiculous. but before you hang up, i want to say one last thing. i'm not an elite eupiselitist. there are certain elements in it country and this world that want to dumb down the population. they have to key them dumbed down to keep them rallied around the flagpole. and bless their hearts they all have their opinions and i love to hear the other side of their arguments. but it seems to me right now they are getting more and more ridiculous and we all know why, because of our present president. host: thank you for the call.
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we will move on because that was a comment rather than a question. to charlotte, north carolina, an independent there. deb, good morning. we are talking about public broadcasting and federal funds. stpwhr caller: yes. i made a point of donating money to my local npr affiliate and pbs affiliate yesterday. host: have you donated in the past? caller: yes, i have donated in the past but it is not something that i do regularly. i pretty much get my news and information from three sources. npr, pbs and c-span. so, i would hate to see those go away. i do agree with actually the maryland caller in some respects that it is a dumbing down of america that some segments don't want people to facts. i think it is amazing that fact
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is a liberal bias. that seems strange. i have some conservative areas of myself and some liberal areas of myself, and i find that there is really almost no slant on those three media outlets. i really hope that npr an pbs -- and pbs get enough funding and donors put their money where their mouths are. i will say i think the republicans will find when the actual taxpayer has to take monday out of their own wallet to fund these things they won't be stimulating the economy by buying things, merchandise and that kind of thing. when they see it backfires, i think fair and balanced which is something that fox news says it is which they are really not, is something that we should strive for and npr is vital, especially
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science friday is heaven. people really need that in their lives, especially school children. host: thank you, deb. any comments for her? guest: i would just say to deborah that you are exactly right in that the american people across the ideological and political spectrums see public broadcasting as a highly trusted source of news and information and in that connection almost 70% of the american people even in the budget crisis that we are facing today oppose reducing or eliminating federal funding for public broadcasting. interestingly, to me this latest poll which was taken two or three weeks ago by peter hart and linda duvall, a bipartisan team, suggested that even among tea party members, self-identified tea party
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members the result was split down the middle on whether there thub federal funding for public broadcasting. so if we are going to be a government by the consent of the governed the governed like public broadcasting and want to see it continue. host: we are getting a number of conservative viewers who are voicing their opinion about the conservative points of view on public radio and television. here is an example. guest: well, i can't tell you who exactly a tea party voice is, but i will say that in kentuc kentucky, which has a long running public affairs program called "kentucky comment," the most prominent tea party member who got his start really on public television in kentucky
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was senator rand paul when he was running a tax reform group and they gave him all kinds of air time to make his point. senator paul does not want want to continue federal funding for public broadcasting, but he was a beneficiary of it in his earlier days. host: we talked about the 350 public stations. has that remained constant over the years? guest: it has. the reason we have so many stations is we are obliged so serve everyone in america. that includes markets and communities where it is not particularly economic for people to offer the services that we off offer. so, it may be that we don't need all 368 in the fullness of time, but i think that that is the kind of issue we ought to be discussing in a rational and
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comprehensive and calm way rather than just saying let's cut off federal funding and good luck to you. host: more understanding of the mechanics of public television. what percentage of public television viewers get the product digital over the air as opposed to by cable or satellite? guest: it is about 25%, i believe. host: so, a quarter of the audience says it without subscribing to anything? guest: yes. that is a little higher than the national norm because we have a lot of people in rural and mall town areas who -- small town areas who don't get cable or satellite service. and if i may say, in addition to that, they are getting this service for free. we don't charge anybody anything for this service. so, if you are not a cable subscriber you can get great performances and everything we do without carjacharge.
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host: when your stations are carrieded on cable or satellite systems are you paid for that? guest: we are not. that is another legislative constraint that we operate under and are happy to do so. but we are not eligible for retransmission consent revenues under which we could charge cable companies or satellite companies for our signals. we are under a must-carry regime and we must be carried by the cable and satellite systems, but we receive to revenue from them. host: watertown, tennessee, al a republican you are on with the discussion of public broadcasting. caller: the idea that npr is not partisan is nonsense you may go back to the wgbh debacle in boston how they gave their donors list to the democratic party because they taught that if you donated to npr stations
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you must be a liberal democrat. my name was on there and i can't even vote in boston. i'm not even in the zip code. the scariest thing is this fellow said npr is responsible for teaching civics lessons to the viewers. this person comes from a government centric background. his biography is all government. so, i don't want to pay for npr to teach civics lessons. that is propaganda. if you want to talk about the story that npr does, look at the stories they don't cover. they will never cover a story that is negative toward a democrat or liberal. it is not going to happen. and the latest things, juan williams and this lady talking about how crazy he is and funding, that is a window into how these leaders think.
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when you listen to this fell will today, just know that it is all spent and what you had before is candid conversations. host: we are going to let you go at that point. anything for al? guest: i will tell my fellow tennessean i spent the last 30 years in private business with r.c.a. and parent company of the "los angeles times" and "washington post" companies. i'm not a creature of government. the more important point is what we were saying is we could say public television is deeply involved in the classroom and educational enterprise. npr performs an equally valid and valuable service in terms of the information that it provides to the american people. everybody is entitled to his or her opinion about whether that
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coverage is balanced, but every single public opinion poll that has ever been done suggests that the great bulk of the american people believe that we are balanced and trustworthy and that we are doing a good job. host: this viewer is mark by iphone this message. i'm listening to this from the u.k. as i e it -- as i see it -- tha is that viewer comment. and stanley has this. guest: well, no, you are not crazy. and the way to look at this, i think, is the following. there is no reason for anyone to think that we are purposely trying to slant the news or the
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coverage of it. that is not the business that public broadcasting is in. there are many things that we pay for in the federal government that we may agree or disagree to varying degrees. but this is a system that has worked extremely well for 42 years, that people highly value and it is routinely seen as the second best use of taxpayer dollars after national defense. that is a pretty good summation after 40 years of work. host: here is a different point of view or aspect of this debate from freelancers. guest: it is true, and we are the backbone for a lot of emergency alert systems around the country. this is another undertold story
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that we have in public pwraud k broadcasti broadcasting. we are at least a second line of defense after first responders for responding to all kinds of disasters and emergencies. host: can you do something that the over the air broadcasters can't do? guest: we do things they don't do. not a matter of whether they can or can't but it is not the business they are in and we are all about public service in all the dimensions that make sense for a media based enterprise. part of my job at the association of public television stations will be helping the stations to increase their variety of their services as the new technologies unfold. host: framing ham, massachuse s massachusetts, democrat, go ahead. i think i have to push the button. you are on the air. caller: thank you.
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didn't the constitution in article one, be section 8, provide for the progress of science and useful arts? i include both in the 21st and 20th century way of looking at it i include both c-span and public broadcasting in the arts and i don't think there is anything that is a higher value of bringing ideas as to those two organizations. host: that will be the last word. mr. butler, this debate will pick up again when the congress comes back and the continuing resolution discussion moves to a full budget discussion. so you are optimistic? >> i'm optimistic. i'm advised that we are going to have a great many more republicans in the house and i think we are going to have a great many republicans in the
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senate vote at the end of the day with the democrats to continue funding for public broadcasting. we are prepared to make a sacrifice proportionate with that made by everybody else, but i think people do value what we're doing. it is demonstrative that we are doing things well and we hope we are going to be able to continue to serve the american people another 40 years and beyond. host: thank you for being with us, patrick butler association of public transportation. the next guest is todd aiken a member of the budget committee and is serves on the armed services. he voted against the continuing resolution. he is a person we will talk budget when we come back.
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>> this weekend on c-span 2 best selling authors argue that flawed economic decisions made by western governments have reliabilitied in the economic scales being tipped in favor of the emerging world. we question what president obama wrote his memoir. and three former high level pentagon insiders take a critical look at how the defense department operates. look for the complete chemical at book of tv.org. >> you can listen to c-span signature programming with itunes or the mp-3. there is a story of today the latest books and authors. people in the news on news makers and interesting conversation on q&a. look to a variety of public affairs podcasts whenever you want. everything you need to know is online at c-span.org/podcast.
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>> the c-span networks provide coverage of politics, public affairs, nonfiction books and american history. it is all available on television, radio, online and on social media networking sites. find our content any time through c-span's video librariment we take c-span on the road with our digital bus and local content vehicle brings resources to your community t. is washington your way, the c-span networks now available in more than 100 million homes created by cable, provided as a public service. >> in the 1960's and 1970's we were writing off urban america. >> this is the head of the nonprofit for new york city. working to keep the city the center of the business world. >> with wall street's reemerge generals -- re-emergence it became the gateway to that
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economy and has prospered ever since. >> watch the rest of the interview sunday night on "q&a." >> "washington journal" continues. host: as promised, our next guest todd aiken republican of missouri has two committee assignments that are important with the news. first is he is a member of the budget committee involved in the capability over federal funding and he is a member of armed services. that is where i want to start this morning with the news that the u.n. security council approved the no-fly zone in lybia and the united states will probably take the lead joined by france, britain and some arab nations but will be essentially u.s. with the largest component. looking at from both a policy and budgetary standpoint how do you feel about this commitment? >> i feel uncomfortable in both regards both in terms of the budget but in regard to the
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policy. the question is how much do we inject ourselves into the internal operations of other countri countries. those are messy. revolutions are messy. but how many can we afford to get into and under what jurisdicti jurisdiction? what gives us the right to step into a foreign country? so i'm cautious. i think it is natural that we are as americans cautious about injecting ourselves. and from a member of the armed services committee right now if you look at general measurements of how strong america is, the number of tanks or aircraft or ships, if you go from 1990 to the present we are roughly half of what we were in 1990 and there is a lot of pressure on the military budgets and we are canceling all kinds of programs because of the economic pressure. that is part because it has been create bid a couple of wars. so, for us to jump into other situation like this, this is
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very costly and i think it is something we need to do with an extreme caution. host:ing at the federal -- looking at the federal budget let's understand about defense spending. your chart indicates that defense discretionary spending $ $689 billion in 2010. that figure when discretionary funds that the cost of funding the manpower and machinery or cost of fighting the wars? guest: i think that includes the cost of the wars because that is what we do spend on defense. that is built in. and when you get into the war you have the equipment over there and being eaten up by the sand and dust and you have to replace that. so you have to recapitalize all of these things. it is a significant cost. so, that is certainly a consideration. i think there is also a moral, ethical consideration and that is our government is elected by
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americans and the purpose of our government particularly is our defense and protecting america. it is one thinking to go into a country that has been a threat to our country. it is another just because we think some of the things that are going on are and you attractive to us and you have to say is this something that we have a jurisdiction to be able to go in there? because our leadership came from voters in america, not from voters in libya. and are they the once -- who is to say we should go in? host: to understand your perspective on defense capabilities and spending, if we look at this budget pie, you are comfortable with the $689 billion as a percentage of the pie. your concern is how much of the assets are going toward fighting the wars in the middle east? guest: in answer to your question, it was more of the personal that is going in the wars because they cost us a lot out of the defense budget.
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host: but do we spend appropriately on defense? guest: i don't think so. if you go it 1990 and to today we are half of what we are in 1990? host: you would like to spend more. guest: if you really want to make sure we are secure, because there are threats that are developing in technology and weapons platforms that are continuously challenging us. our defense spending now is very much on the edge. we have cut it down farther than i would be comfortable. after looking at this for 10 years. host: when we want to talk about the pwgt this morning and -- budget this morning and the debates in congress no really consensus on the continuing resolution. but according to all the articles leaders are saying no more continuing resolutions when they come back from the break. todd akin voted against it yesterday. we would like to hear what you think about the pwgt battles. the -- budget lines.
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the phone lines are on the screen or you can tweet. why did you vote against the tipping resolution? -- continuing resolution. guest: i think this could be very helpful for listeners because one thing we hear is what we need to do is cut all earmarks and cut the money we give to foreign countries. well, if you do that, that is about 1.5% of the pie. it is absolutely nothing. so, i want to paint the picture of how serious the budget problem really is right now using that chart. there is a certain category of thing in the budget called an entitlement. i'm an engineering by training and it is easier to think of an entitlement as if you consider that paper towel dispenser in the bathroom, it spits out paper towels. an entitlement was created by a
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budge of legislators years ago and instead of spitting out paper towels it spits out dollar bills and we have created these dollar bill dispensing things and you add them together and end to end, that medicare, medicaid, social security, schip, veterans things, you add them up and add one more thing to them that acts just like an entitlement and that is interest on our debt. so, in other words, when you sell a treasury bill we have to pay interest on that so it is spitting out dollar bills, too. all of these things on autopilot that spit out dollars, how much do we spend on them? it is $2.2 trillion. i don't know how much that is, but i can put it in perspective because our revenues are also $2.2 trillion. in other words, if you want to balance the budget, all of your entitlements plus debt service equal or revenues.
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that means you would have to zero out defense. not one soldier, not one rifles not one jeep and you would have to zero out the discretionary nondefense which means we close the capitol building, close federal parks and prisons, department of energy, conservation, commerce, education, waver you want. you -- whatever you want. you close all the things we think the federal government does you close they will and you have a balanced budget temporarily. so, the point is that the entitlements are growing at such a rate they have used up the entire revenue stream just this ye year. so, that indicates the seriousness of what we are talking about and why there is the economic pressure on defense. i also have a chart that shows what is going on with defense spending. you look at the blue line, this blue line is the growth of entitlements. revenues are averaging about 18%. the entitlements are using
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almost all and defense has gone down. so, the problem is not growth of defense but the problem is the growth of entitlements. host: congress akin comes from the u.s. office of management, the chart. here is one more which is u.s. government net interest. will you talk about what this chart means to you? guest: we were talking about you add the entitlements and then your interest on the debt you add to that and that get us to $2.2 trillion, which is the same alleges the tax revenues. you put this together. so, one thing that is driving the number with the entitlements is the debt service. as we go more and more into debt we've to pay more on the debt service and that is what is shown here, a tremendous increase. anybody who thinks it is business as usual with the federal budget just is not aware of these numbers.
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a great number of people in the public know we've financial problems but at the don't realize how severe they are and that the entitlements by themselves and that debt service eat up every bit of revenue we have and you could take defense and put it to zero and everything else and put it to zero and you still only balance it a couple of years. host: i'm not sure if this particular chart made it to air, the graphic depiction of what congressman akin said. this is the entitlements which include medicaid, medicare, social security. guest: that is debt service. you put that on top of this looks like there is a little higher than that. but that gives people a sense that you can't just without earmarks, waste, fraud and abuse and payments to foreign governments. that just barely scratches the surface. host: would you explain if you
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are concerned about federal spending why did you vote against the continuing resolution? guest: the continuing resolution is the result that under pelosi and reid there was no budget passed and we have always had a budget since 1974. so we went into this fiscal year which goes from october 1 to october 1 and we are halfway through, with no budget at all. how does the government handle that sort of situation? we call it a continuing resolution, a little like sticking ladders off the edge of the cliff to get across a space and we say let's use the amount of money we spent last year and project that forward at the sail rate until -- same rate. the trouble with the continuing resolution is several. first of all, it doesn't really deal with the problem. but it creates havoc for the department of defense because terror trying to plan -- they are trying to plan starting a
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new submarine because you have a certain number of cycles and you can't start anything new because the money hasn't been appropriated legally. so, they can't start things new so they try to shift dollars to protect the budget and it creates ai don't say and wasted -- it creates chaos. then the house, at the beginning of the year, took up the question of the budget for what is remain iing in the fiscal 20 year, which goes to october. we passed essentially the continuing resolution to design what is going to be funded and had about $100 billion in cuts and it was sent to the senate. the senate has taken no action on it. to give them time to take action, we did a continuing resolution, gave them a few more weeks, hoping they would take up what we passed them. they don't have to agree. they are more liberal and
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probably won't agree with the cuts but they can take out what they don't like and send it back to congress but the senate has done nothing. so we did one continuing resolution to give them time to work on it. they have done nothing on it. so, what the speaker of the house did is say we will give tell another block of time. i felt like we had given the senate enough time and we are hurting the department of defense so that is why i voted no. host: donna is a democrat from missouri. you are on. caller: mr. akin, i really get kind of tired of yelling about entitlements. but living in missouri we are in a state that makes defense products. but when george bush was in he built a new aircraft carrier, i think it was $6.9 billion. and right now everybody is wanting to cut everything. but at the same time i have seen you on the floor asking for fore
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aircraft carrier just a few months ago. so, i think that is another $6.9 billion. would you like to answer that for me? guest: sure. first of all i don't recall being on the floor asking for another aircraft carrier. we have currently 12 or 13 aircraft carriers we operate depending on which year you are talking about. those are nelson for us because -- those are necessary because believe it or not and those from missouri why would you say america is a maritime nation but we are because much of what we use and products we consume come from all over the world. the aircraft carrier allows us to project force to where the different people we are trading with are. and america, if you think about it, is a little bit isolated. we are on a separate continent and we have to trade either over to europe or to china or india or taiwan or wherever.
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those sea lanes have to be open to keep trade flowing. the aircraft carriers and other ships in our navy fulfill a useful function of keeping those sea lanes open so we can have the trade and oil and or things that we consume in this country. that is why we have to have a navy. it also allows us that when there is a potential conflict or something in the world the navy, by taking the battle to some other place if there has to be a aware, gives us some protection so the war is not fought on our soil. so, over a 100-year period of time, over many generations statesmen have recognized the need for us to have a navy. the point that i'm making i'm not so much after entitlements but merely to say that the growth of entitlements is completely destroying the budget. so, something has to be done with the entitlements or the
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entitlements will stop working. they will be destroyed. so, if we do not want medicaid, medicare, social security to basical basically end up in economic ruin we have to mick -- make disciplined decisions. it we pretend everything is ok and go along down the road we are in for a very, very unpleasant crisis and certainly we want to avoid that. if you are going to protect those entitlements then you are going to have to figure out how are we going to make it work relative to the overall budget. because right now the entitlements and debt service are taking up all of the federal revenue. we don't have any money to run the government with now and everything we do running the regular part of the government is all debt. we can't do that very long. host: a republic fr-- a republin
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from california. caller: good morning. the last gentleman they had on there they asked him about the tax brooks that the nonprofits get and he said that he didn't know anything about that. of course, else a head of the -- whatev whatever. host: the conversation was whether or not he knew about tax breaks for the commercial stations and he said he doesn't because he works with nonprofits. so, you didn't hear that correctly. but what is your point? caller: this is my point. i would like to see all of the people that get tax breaks from donations that they make and most of them have lots of money. any nonprofit that they donate t to they are getting breaks for. the reason i know that is because i worked with my brother for a church and they let him write off whatever he wants.
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if you look at, that i would like to see you publish every tax break that everybody is getting in this country and if that ain't an entitlement i don't know what you would call it. that is all i have to say. you can take it for what it is worth. host: thank you, jules. guest: question is there are all of these different kinds of tax breaks. in fact, the caller is correct in saying there are a lot of tax breaks. if we were to do a graphic here on the television, you could picture a little red wagon coming in with all of these tax books stacked up on it and they are at least waist high. and that is the u.s. tax code and there are all of these things but if you do this and this you get a tax break. so our tax code is incredible by complicated and the point has been made by both parties that
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it would be a lot better to simplify it and i'm all for that. cut the overall tax rate for corporations and individuals down, say, to 25% but get rid of the tax breaks so that it is simple. people have made the idea that what we could do is have your tax report just to be filed on a 3-by-5 card that said i made this much money, take this%, that is how much my tax is and the check is enkhoelsed in the -- enclosed in the envelope. some people call for what is called a flat tax system which is even more just and that is everybody pays just a flat percent of what you make. so, it is true that the tax code is very, very complicated. no one really knows it all and it creates no end of cost and problems for people. host: we are talking with congressman todd akin of missouri about the debate over the federal spending with the budget wars that have been going
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on. in the washington times here is what is written. the spending fights are growing more testy. they say the extension will be the last and the government has run more than a half of the year on stop gap funding which times the agency's hands. how do you see had turning out on april 8? guest: well, i think we are coming to a crisis because the house has presented a budget for the end of fiscal year 2011 going to october 1. we have said that to the senate. the senate has refused to take action. before too long they will either take action or there is not going to be any money to be running the federal government,and they are going to have it make that decision. the house has been as responsible as we know how. we opened the floor. it was much freer than any of the two years with nancy pelosi. anybody who wanted could make
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amendments to add or cut anything from the budget. it was really a wide open democracy in action. the house ran around the clock for a number of days with amendments but everybody had their chance to say what they should do. that bill was sent to the senate. if the senate refuses to take acti action, then the problems are on their hands because the house has extended and it is time for the senate to make a decision. host: associated press just ran this news alert. foreign minister of libya has declared a cease-fire and is stopping military operations. sound like it might be good news with the declaration of no-fly zone they are saying they are stopping military operations. guest: anything that saves the loss of life sounds like a good idea. those countries have tended to be pretty unstable and you never
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know what is going to come from the different revolutions. i think it is wise to be cautious before we jump into some foreign country in the middle of their affairs. host: back to domestic spending i have gotten a number of tweets and i apologize for my twitter is a little congested and i'm not able to put them up as quickly. but they are concerned with social security was listed on your chart as an entitlement suggesting that if people pay into the program why is it an entitlement. guest: as i defined entitlement and it is helpful to understand that an entitlement is something that a bunch of legislators years ago created. they created some particular program and that program runs, if you will, on autopilot. that is why it is called an entitlement because it just runs and runs and unless somebody changes the machine it keeps running. now, social security, through the years, for many, many people
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has been a terrible investment. it is really a tax is all it is. social security is a tax. the government has taken the tax, there's been more coming in than going out and we spend it. that has not been responsible. i didn't design social security. it came from bismarck, f.d.r. put it in place and it worked ok the way it was set up originally because you had lots of people working and very few made it to 65 years old. now people are living longer, which makes it more economically hard to make it work. second, you have fewer and farr people working -- fewer and fewer working and more getting to the age where we will draw social security. so the number of people working for the number receiving it the ratio is changing. that makes it problematic. the third thing is in the 1970's the rate of increase of social security payments to people was increased a lot more so than
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inflation. so, you have the social security payments are actually going up. so a combination of those things makes it so it doesn't work. but it is called an entitlement because it just assumes you hit a certain age you get money. certainly many people put more money into social security than they will ever get out of it. it wasn't a good investment for most. in fact most people would have been better off to take the same money and put it in the stock market or treasury bills they would be people who started at an average wage in their 20's or 30's if they had done that up to the time of retirement they would have a million dollars set aside. so, it is not a good system in terms of the benefit for individuals but it is very true people put a lot of money into it. host: a call from minnesota, jerry calling on the independent line. caller: congressman akin, i can't believe you just called for an indecrease in our defense
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budget. our defense budget is equal to the rest of the defense budgets of all the nations around the world combined roughly. we cannot be a policeman of the world. vietnam and correia should have told us that. we should have not gonna iraq and we should not have troops in germany and japan and this not isolationism but something our founding fathers warned not to get involved in foreign i think tanglements. let's guard our own borders and bring our troops home. guest: about half of what you said i agree with. that is why i expressed considerable reservations about getting in place lake libya -- like libya. when a nation is a threat that is why we have defense in this country. i believe that we have a moral imperative to defend ourselves.
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but as i was trying to make the point before, we also have an interest that there are open and free trade lanes around the world where nations can trade with nations without having their ships seized by pirates or by some other large bullying nation that decides they are going to blockade things or create economic mischief. that is the reason we have always been a maritime nation and had a strong navy and had the ability to project air power off of aircraft carriers, for instance. it is to protect those trade lanes. but also, when there is a conflict, to hold it at some distance and take the idea that it would be sufficient for us to merely hide behind our own borders and thinking would go well, i think history has proven that that is not so. so, i agree with you that we should be very cautious about wading into the affairs of foreign countries.
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but on the other hand, having the ability to project power and protect sea lanes and protect against nations that become tyrannical and want to take over other countries, that is necessary. if you consider how much we actually spend on defense, there is a chart that i have on that. it shows that our defense spending as a percent of g.d.p. has been dropping significantly. so, our budget problems were not the cost of defense. our budget problems are the tremendous growth in entitlements. that is what is driving the budget. .
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caller: would you look at corporation subsidies the way you do at entitlements? would you be willing to prosecute the companies and the people running the companies that steal from the government and putting them in jail like you would any other thief? guest: it sounds like you have lost six or eight questions.
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when people break the law, they should be held accountable. i have always supported that concept of justice. justice has a blindfold on. it does not matter who we are. i am very supportive of that concept. yes, i was a veteran. i have three sons who are graduates of the naval academy. all three chose to be marine officers. once served in felucca -- fallujah and one just got back from afghanistan. i know all about that. we do not build ships in st. louis. when you manufacture any of these complicated things, parts are flowing from all over the place. there may be some rivet made in another quarter of the world.
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these things come together with what some subcontractors. there is an industrial base that produces some of the different weapons platforms that we've used to defend our country. that is the way it has always been. i do not have any particular problem with that. those people work hard. they make good products so that our sons and daughters have the best equipment that we could ask. we've had some wars where we have not had the best equipment. that has cost us a great deal in life and limb and a lot of suffering as well. the use of the word "entitlement," i did not choose that word. i am simply defining the term used on the hill in washington, d.c. they call them entitlements. i did not choose the word. i have tried to define what that
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is. those are essentially lost -- laws that spit out money all the time. congress has passed these laws. the lot sits there. it is like a little machine that spits out dollar bills. we have so many of those machines we have created that spit out dollar bills that they are now speeding up the same number of dollar bills that we take in in revenue. we have nothing left at all to run defense or the rest of the government. if you like your medicaid or social security, the republicans are honest enough to tell you that the systems are spending so much money that they are going to bring down the machine. it will break. it will cause a lot of suffering and difficulty. we're trying to head that off a pass and be responsible as to how these things need to work
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overall with the budget of the country. to a time in america's destiny where the needs to be a lot of honesty and education. you cannot continue to ignore the problem and kick the can down the road. that is what the president's 2012 budget did. that is why even liberals were saying that the budget does not pass the test. it does not deal with economic reality. we have to be honest enough as politicians to say that we have a problem. these entitlements are equal to revenue. we're out of money for the rest of the government. we need to have a serious conversation and decide on our priorities. we need to move forward in a responsible way. host: the next telephone call is from oregon. bill is a republican there. caller: thank you for c-span. since i have been out of work, i
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watched c-span quite a bit. host: go ahead, please. caller: i like c-span quite a bit. c-span was doing the budget for the military. i do not understand why there are about bonds -- add ons for ethanol and this and that. it had nothing to do with the military. again more enraged with ethanol than anything else. if you are doing anything with small engines, you cannot use ethanol. it burns up the engines. you have to find something that has a high octane without ethanol. i will get off the line. i do not understand why they
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have so much stuff in the military budgets that have nothing to do with the military. i really appreciate your time. thank you. guest: that is a good question. some people have added to the military budget hoping that they will not be cut. people have a little more deference for the funding for defense because it is constitutional. when you go to the u.s. constitution, you do not have to read past the first page that says that the government will provide for the national defence. although pursuit of life and liberty is useless if you have people attacking you. providing for the defense is the first and primary function of the federal government. no other government can do that job. people sometimes put extra trash into the budget. in the political process,
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sometimes they can get away with that. this is one of those times where we are in a severe budget situation. those kinds of items that you mentioned need to be cleaned out and gotten rid of. host: do you support of an of price supports? guest: it is part of a host of special deals. we have been doing special deals for wall street, automakers, cash for clunkers. the problems with those things are that they are economically inefficient. if ethanol can be produced and be competitive with regular gasoline, fine. if not, it needs to stand on its own. if we allow the process to work, you end up with a better price performance for consumers overall instead of trying to do price-fixing and special deals. host: david wanted us to ask
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about oil subsidies while cutting the entitlements to people. guest: we have a tremendous amount of oil in this country and on continental shelves around the country. we are not ruling on it. there is so much pressure that we do not want to do anything that would be upsetting to environmentalists. we have wells where we think there is oil down there. we have lawsuits filed against the companies trying to drill the wells. we have not been developing american energy. that is coming home to roost. as things become more unstable with the oil is currently being drilled and produced, that raises our gasoline prices. this is foolish on our part. we need to be developing american energy in a series of different ways. we need to let the marketplace determine the right places to do that. one of the most encouraging things in american energy is the
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realization that we can get a lot of natural gas from the rock layers in the earth. under pennsylvania and that part of the central eastern part of the country, there are tremendous reserves of natural gas. that is a cleaner-burning fuel and could be very cost effective for us. america has very good energy resources. we've been extremely slow and it has been a partisan divide on that. if i were to say that republicans and democrats in congress are divided on abortion, everybody knows that. it might be interesting to know there's more division on the development of american energy than on the abortion interest -- issue. there is not common and widespread agreement. i am firmly on the side of
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developing american energy. that is not a no-brainer in congress. it is very controversial issue. host: 45 members in that voting against the c.r.? guest: a think it was closer to 55. host: politico writes about this. "the tricky part for both sides is that some members say that no compromise is possible on issues like abortion and given uniform opposition to the health care lodgings -- law --
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guest: i think when you are dealing with the amount of budget we have between now and october 1, there is going to have to be a compromise. i believe what you have in the house and the new republicans is that they want to see some serious change. our problem is way beyond anything we could do in trimming some fat out of the discretionary non-defense or even out of defense. if that budget said zero for
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defense and everything else, you could balance the budget. cutting $100 billion out is barely the beginning of what has to happen. the senate can disagree and come back and say they want to put this or that in it. this is one of those negotiated situations. the senate has done nothing on it. if they continue to do nothing, you are starting to threaten the fact that there will not be the funds out there to run things. host: the next call is from new york, david, a democrat. caller: i have been listening to c-span for a lot of years. i have a few things i have been writing down. my family has been republicans all my life. they have never been anything but republicans. i had never voted anything but republican. i registered as a democrat after
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watching c-span. here are things the republicans have openly said. you tell me the one you think are wrong. social security, any kind of health care, food inspection, minimum wage, get rid of unions cannot get rid of retirement, and. of medicare, get rid of aid to education. make sure that college students cannot vote. get rid of women's rights. they make insurance companies pay a tax for birth control. one of them wanted to get rid of the child labor laws. let's get rid of all environmental regulations. let's get rid of anything that makes the corporations honest because that is called red tape. no tax for the super rich, including the inheritance tax. get rid of that. host: david, i need to stop you.
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we're running out of time. the point of the list is what? caller: walter langer said people would rather believe a big lie than a little one. tell long enough, and they will believe it. guest: david gave quite a list. i do not know republicans that are against them. the points we have been making on this program this morning is the fact that if you care about medicare, medicaid, and social security, something has to be done about the programs. they're economically broken. you are venting your anchor at republicans because they are telling you the truth. these programs will not continue to work because they're spending so much money that economically the nation cannot support them. you may not like that. the trouble is that there are certain economic fox that we are
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responsible to deal with. we are choosing to tell the truth. we are trying to say that we want social security to continue. it can continue economically for a long time. the wait is set up. now, it does not work. -- the way it is set up now, it does not work. these things can be fixed in we can move forward on them. if we ignore them, then they break. if you want to be angry with people trying to be fiscally responsible and tell you the truth, that is okay. but recognize that if you continue to ignore these things and say they are wonderful and let it go, you are going to wake up some morning and the dollar bill will not be working. there will be an economic catastrophe unlike anything we have seen before. a lot of americans know that we're talking about a big economic concern, but they think we will just get rid of giving money to foreign countries and
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earmarks and everything will be ok. i am telling you that is not so. all of that added together is pretty 1% of the overall budget. we have a situation where these things on autopilot are taking more and more money so rapidly that the country will have to go more in debt. that just today -- the debt just today, the amount of interest we pay to china is very high. they bought our debt. i do not think that is the way we want to be as a nation. it is time to tell the truth. if somebody gets mad, that is okay. i believe a lot of americans want to know the truth.
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they want us to get our fiscal house in order. they want us to make the right decisions with a good balance to put america in a place where we can again be a strong nation and hold our head high. we are a very unique country. host: todd akin, republican from missouri, thank you for being here to take our calls today. david applegate is the u.s. geological survey senior science advisor for earthquakes. that is an interesting discussion ahead. i want to introduce you to a familiar face. richard norton smith is the presidential historian based at george mason university. is the author of numerous books about u.s. presidents. he is a longtime consultant to its c-span for our many history projects. he is here this morning because
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he is organizing a tour called presidents and patriots in may. tell us more about it. guest: it is 20 years i have been doing presidential tours around the country. often, c-span has come along. that will be the case on may 12. we're doing a 10-day tour with seven presidents in north carolina, tennessee, arkansas, and texas. we have broadened the focus. it is a history tour. we will be visiting the site of the kennedy assassination and the national civil rights museum in memphis. we will go to the shiloh civil war battlefield, a real turning point in the war.
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we will visit what was the biggest private home in america when it was constructed by washington. there are seven presidents. we will go to andrew johnson's shot and injured jackson's great plantation. we have a behind-the-scenes tour arranged of the lbj ranch. we might even have a barbecue next to lbj's old swimming pool. the bush library, central high school in little rock, the site of the 1957 integration crisis. there is a lot packed into those 10 days. host: you are invited c-span viewers to come along on the tour. how many spaces are available? guest: we have about five rooms
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left. they can be single or double. we tried to keep it to a small group, intimate. we're going to historical hotels and restaurants. we have had a lot of c-span viewers in the past. a number have returned over and over again. host: it is 10 days and nine nights. what is the cost? guest: 6 under dollars for double occupancy. -- $600 for double occupancy. there is a number on the screen where viewers can call. 202-621-7250 anyway, it should be a good trip.
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host: people may be asking why c-span is doing a commercial for a presidential tour. is this a commercial enterprise? guest: know, -- no, i am glad you mentioned that. i do not receive a penny for the tours. i get the joy of sharing the experience with other people. many of them are c-span junkies who love american history as much as we do. it is not a profit-making venture. host: if you have an interest in history and would like to travel with other c-span viewers and cameras in a tour guided by historian richard norton smith, visit presidentsandpatriots.com he has about five spaces left. if your budget allows and you
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are interested, please join him. if not, we will be showing some of that on television. richard norton smith, thank you for being with us on this friday morning. have a good trip in may. from presidential history to the serious topic of earthquakes. good morning to david applegate. he serves as the senior science adviser for earthquake and geologic hazards. could an earthquake of the magnitude of the one in japan have been in the united states? guest: i appreciate the opportunity to speak with you. we have two zones of the united states that do have the potential to generate similar kinds of earthquakes. part of the pacific plate is diving down beneath north america. one part is off of alaska.
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in 1964, we have a magnitude 9 earthquake. it caused a significant local tsunami. the other is a small micro-plate linked to the pacific off the pacific northwest. we call this area cascadia. it runs from british columbia to california. a magnitude 9 earthquake is definitely possible there. host: we have a chart of the united states. it has the hazard zones. we always think about the west coast of the united states, hawaii, and alaska as places more prone to it. but there are hot spots here. one is an area around missouri
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and another is around charleston. talk about those. guest: one thing we emphasize is that earthquakes are a national housing. they are concentrated in the west, but some of the most significant hazards can be found in the central and eastern u.s. rhe hot spot in the lowes mississippi valley is in the seceded zone to the wabash zone. at last had a major series of ruptures in 1811 and 1812. we are coming up on the bicentennial of those earthquakes. the hot spot that you see reflects another historic earthquake in 1886. it may have been a magnitude 6 or 7 in charleston.
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we do not think of the central u.s. as earthquake country, but it definitely is. host: we will put telephone numbers on the screens to take your calls. we will also take twitter and female comments. 75 million americans in 39 states face significant risk of seismic activity. 26 urban areas are at risk of significant seismic activity. the estimate of $5 billion in potential damages from a major quake -- $500 billion estimate. fema is estimating that the annual earthquake cost is about $5.6 billion per year. i would imagine that developing earthquake risk zones is a highly political exercise. so much is really at stake with
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property values, zoning, etc. how does this chart it put together? how is it finalized? how much does it change over time? guest: the hazard map itself that you have been showing is a marvelously non-political process. that represents the work of scientists. it is a broad consensus process of expertise. we're pulling together everything we have in terms of how things have happened in the past, the different ground shaking intensity away from faults. we can use gps to watch the plates move in real time. we also have the past earthquakes. all of the information goes into this. we are part of a partnership
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with fema the national science foundation, and others, the mud develops designed maps. that goes into model building codes. it is a broad consensus process. this is where politics come in. the state has to decide whether they will adopt model building codes and how. that is very much a public process of trading off near-term and long-term risks. host: how has the science improved in the last decade? guest: gps is a wonderful new tool we have had. seismic networks remain the work force in terms of being able to rapidly detect earthquakes. gps has enabled us to see the earth's crust moving in real time.
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it has given us a lot of additional information to understand these forces. the big advances have come in the wake of the sumatra earthquake in 2004. we will be room -- we were able to modernize a lot of our networks and stations to deliver information much faster and in a much more robust way. host: the deadliest earthquake in history from the u.s. geological survey. the china earthquake is lifted in 1566. it was 8.0 on the richter scale. china, 1976. syria had an earthquake in 1138 we are 230,000 people died.
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japan is not in this yet. we do not know the whole on this. how do we know about the events that happened in 1138? guest: that is a great question. that is where we are challenged in the u.s. we do not have a long historical record. the specific records, we know the exact date on which one occurred. it is not from our records but from the tsunami that struck japan and the careful monastic records for centuries. in japan, the precursor to this earthquake we just had, there appears to be one that struck in 1869.
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that is combined with geologic sleuthing to find the deposits that are indicators. there is a combination of science and history. host: you keep referencing the 200 year anniversary and records of the past. guest: earthquakes and defied the ability to do it short-term prediction. the notion that their interoperability to this that there is a repeatability is fairly well understood. that goes back to the plate boundaries. the vast majority of earthquakes occur where the tectonic plates are grinding against one another. some of the deadliest quakes have been in areas away from those boundaries. those are some of the ones we worry about the most. they tend to be in areas where
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there has not been as much preparedness and experience that lead to building codes and mitigation measures. host: japan have loss of life from the earthquake, tsunami, and resulting nuclear issues. the u.s. has the largest number operating nuclear power plants. a number of these are coincidental with the fault lines in the areas we showed you. we will also have a discussion about nuclear safety. our guest is an expert on the seismic aspects of this. let's go to the first phone call from pennsylvania. sheldon is on the line. are you there? we will move on. next is lewis in baltimore. caller: i am wondering about the
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reports we're getting from arkansas in the central part of the united states. there's one report of tremors in the great lakes region. last night, there were multiple minor sharks -- shocks in arkansas. they may be attributable to drilling for natural gas. the second question is, what about the atlantic? there is an area in the canary islands where volcanoes erupt. there was an eruption in the caribbean not long ago. if the canary islands iraq, they would create a tsunami that would be over 30 or 40 feet high. are we getting more tremors on the east coast in the central part of the united states? thank you. guest: great question. with respect to arkansas, we
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have been tracking this. we've been working closely with the regional network based at the university of memphis. it has been measuring 900 of these very small earthquakes that have occurred in an area in central arkansas. it has been going on since september. it is not the first time arkansas has had these. it has had a history of being sworn -- swarmy in this area. be a separate issue from another fault line. the big focus is an understanding -- the biggest event has been about a 4.7. it is to understand how it may be related to the gas development in that area. the arkansas oil and gas
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commission recently had a moratorium on some of the deep injection wells to see if there is a linkage factor there. the atlantic seaboard and the canary islands, the vast majority of salamis are generated by earthquakes. a small number are created by landslides, volcanoes. there has been research looking at the potential impact of a vector collapse. one of -- a chunk of one of the islands went into the sea. your rupturing several hundred kilometers of the earth's crust. the big line is jerking up and spreading out its energy into the ocean. it is hard to generate that same kind of way from a single point source. these are possible in dense, but very improbable events.
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-- these are possible in dense, but very improbable events. host: we have a question about the effect of these on natural gas wells. guest: it depends. it has gone bust. both ways. in the 1960's, there was a deep injection into offers -- acquifers outside of denver that generated earthquakes up to a magnitude of five. there is no clear linkage to significantly larger earthquakes from this kind of man made activity. in terms of the impacts it would have on the development itself, we have seen changes in well water levels and the sorts of things. i am not aware of any specific cases where a major oil or natural gas field was significantly disrupted. host: related news just came
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across from the associated press wire. it is from vienna. the diplomat says japan's radioactive fallout has reached california. the first levels are about a billion times beneath levels that would be health threatening. the diplomat has access to u.n. radiation tracking. he asked for anonymity on friday because comprehensive testing has not been made public. there are so many different organizations involved in the work that you do from the geological and seismic to the disaster prevention and response, to the diplomats watching this from abroad. how has your job in the years to have been doing it changed as the debate has become more public and there is more access to information via the internet? guest: one thing i really like about the way we operate is that
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all of our data is made publicly available. it is immediately available. we have several hundred thousand people trying to get our earthquake alert. millions of people come to our website to get that. it is available to them as fast as to anyone else. we make sure we are informing the proper authorities. it is fairly -- jerry publicly open. -- very publicly open. one of the most important elements is the incredible interaction that now takes place. we have something where people can come into our website and describe what they have experienced in an earthquake. after a magnitude 5 earthquake in the u.s., we will get tens of thousands of people telling us about it. their human seismometers. human seismometers turn out to be good. it helps to fill in the details of how the shaking disperses.
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one we are testing is how we can use twitter. when an earthquake occurs, their immediate reaction is to make a quick tweet. those can biggio located -- those can be geo-located. really trying to explore that. host: on thursday -- >> shame on us if we do not learn from their misfortune. japan is the most advanced nation in terms of seismic hazard. there earthquake early warning system saved thousands of lives. with our funding, usgs got a huge leap of, were on early
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warning system -- leap up on our own of early warning system. the prototype is now caught up in the uncertainty of the 2011 project. we continue to plan for it when the funds to become available. host: talk to us about the united states early warning system for earthquakes and where its stance. guest: as our director indicated, we have seen the ultimate test of the early warning system in japan. right now we are so focused on the tragedy unfolding and continuing trauma. we have to peel back the onion and look at what did work. the number of people killed by the earthquake appears to be in the hundreds and not in the hundreds of thousands as we saw in the case of haiti.
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that is because of two key factors. one is the building codes that have been enacted. the buildings did not fall down. the other part of that is prepared this report prepared -- preparedness. japan has a system sending electronic data ahead of the shaking. people in tokyo probably had about 60 seconds to get under desks, stop the train, it manufacturing facilities into a safe mode. there are a lot of things you can do in that timeframe. japan has the best networks in the world. we are in a prototype phase. we're working to develop the algorithms and a prototype system. we're still a ways away from being able to actually deployed such a system. host: the next call is from
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greenville, south carolina. caller: i am a first-time caller and longtime viewer. you have always been my favorite host. i have a quick question about the characteristics of the zones on the west coast versus those on the central and east coast. what are the characteristics of the central and eastern charleston area zones? are they based on some of physics -- similar physics? guest: in the central and eastern u.s., we're looking at the reactivation of old structures. the east coast and entire eastern part of the u.s. used to be very to comically -- tectonically exciting.
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the plates closed the ocean between europe, africa, and the americas. it opened again to form the atlantic basin. it would make the himalayas look like a small range. there are a lot of these older structures still there. we're no longer an active boundary here. some structures that propagate from the edges of the boundary may concentrate on these older structures. we also have some stress left over from grace years -- glaciers. we have glacier sheets weighing down the continent. with the removal of that, there is a bounce back. that is another potential source of energy for these older structures to reactivate.
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it is the same basic physics and construct of plate tectonics. the biggest challenge with these eastern and central u.s. earthquakes is that because the cost is not as broken up as it is on the plate boundary, it is older and colder. it rings like a bell. the same breath. in the central or eastern u.s. has a much broader effect than an earthquake out west. when we have reports from an earthquake -- there was a magnitude five in 2008 of the illinois-indiana border. we had folks reporting on that front 19 states. it was a very broad area. in california, it will be felt over a much narrower zone. host: the next call is from vermont, richard, independent.
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caller: what scares me more than the natural disaster is the reluctance of these people to inform us accurately. and just saw where japan has just now upgraded the seriousness to the same as three mile island. was three mile island ever got severe? guest: i will defer my comments on this to the u.s. nuclear regulatory commission. we work closely with their scientists and engineers on seismic matters. in terms of the nuclear accident, that is outside of my area of expertise. host: on the severity of the earthquake, it was first listed as 8.9. it was then upgraded to 9.0 magnitude. what is the difference in the readings? guest: one of the challenging
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things with earthquakes -- with hurricanes, you have wind speed. it is one simple measurement to express the hurricane. in the case of earthquakes, we're trying to capture all the energy released by the event based on the records from our seismic stations. as we are adding all that up, the initial readings will not be quite as high as what we will finally come to. that is why you typically see some change in the magnitude. it is a remote destination. we work out 8.8 at 37 minutes. then we went up to 8.9 a few minutes after that. that is about twice as much energy released from that event. once you are at an 8.8 or 8.9, you know this is a catastrophic earthquake. the same data that comes from our global network to our
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national information center and thieves straight into the noaa tsunami systems. all of the data was flowing. all of that was known very rapidly. host: was this the largest ever reported? guest: the biggest was in 1960. it was a similar situation to the chilean earthquake this last year with an 8.8. they have a zone there with the same kind of setting. host: wayne county, west virginia, democrat. caller: i have two questions. i would like to know if c-span will to a program on a
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mountaintop removal mining and the destruction of appalachia, particularly in west virginia. my question to mr. applegate is that we have started to experience small earthquakes in west virginia in south central and eastern west virginia. we are concerned that because of the amount of earth moving involved in mountaintop removal that this could be a factor. i contacted usgs and they said it possibly could be. all the drilling for natural gas, a lot of that is in west virginia. near having major drilling the area where the earthquakes have been reported. i would like to know if he can answer those questions. this is the biggest earthmoving
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project in the history of the world, mountaintop removal. what effect will that have on the stability of west virginia and the united states? guest: certainly, large efforts to move around the earth's crust can have an impact. we've seen that the case of large dams. you are changing the stresses that can generate small quakes. in terms of the mountaintop removal, the impacts really are very along the surface. we should look at that and try to understand from environmental degradation issues. in the case of west virginia, lots of seismic events are regularly recorded on our network. most of those are mine blasts. those are generally equivalent to a magnitude 4 earthquake in
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terms of the amount of energy released. this has been ongoing for a long time. there are natural earthquakes that occur in west virginia as well. one of the big challenges as we look to develop these oil shale deposits throughout the various is to be carefully monitoring to understand the potential for induced seismicity. we are looking at the issue. we can expect this question to come up more and more. we want to understand it as best we can. host: this list of the 26 urban areas of risk of significant seismic activity ranges from albuquerque to stockton.
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have all of them experienced some level of seismic activity? have some of them been quiet? guest: most of them have experienced some level of small earthquake activity. there is a background level of activity. i would have to think that if there is any example where there is nothing at all. one thing we look for is the ongoing of where earthquakes are occurring. the other part of this in terms of understanding the hazard is where large earthquakes have occurred in the past. in some cases, you have to go into the geological record. you have to the geological sleuthing to recognize the hazards. there is not a lot of activity
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in oregon. you do not see a lot of earthquakes. but we understand it is capable of a magnitude nine giant earthquake that generates a significant tsunami back in the 1700's. will have done so in several hundred year intervals in the past. host: this is an interesting list. i want to read it to you so you can see the kinds of things they are thinking about. which falls are the most likely to produce damaging earthquakes? what keeps the one earthquake small and lets another go to hundreds of miles? what controls the interaction among earthquakes? what determines how damaging the ground shaking will be? what is the cost effectiveness of different navigation technologies? what inspired you to get into this line of work? collectost geologists
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rocks. i cannot point to that. i can point to an absolute fascination with maps and wonderful early teachers that encouraged that. in terms of the hazard arena, most scientists gravitate toward where we feel our science can make a difference. this arena of natural hazards, i know why i am doing it every day when i get out of bed. host: he has his b.s. in geology from yale. have you ever been an earthquake? guest: i survived the great gaithersburg earthquake this past summer. we have a little earthquake where we got thousands of reports. i slept through that one. i did my ph.d. work in the death
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valley region of california. we felt the landers earthquake of a magnitude seven out in the desert. i thought it was a blast from a nearby mine. my english major brother informed me he thought it was an earthquake. he was right. [laughter] host: amsterdam, new york, republican. caller: i was wondering -- if that goes off, it will be way over a 9 and make more of a mess than any earthquake in california. guest: in addition to tracking earthquakes, we also have the responsibility for tracking volcanoes as well as landslides. we have a number of volcanoes
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observatories, including one at yellowstone with a number of other partners there. we carefully monitor the activity at yellowstone. what you are seeing on these maps is that the colors represent an estimation of the likely shaking experienced at any given place over a 50-year time. that is the timeframe for the internet. these maps are intended to feed into the model building codes. people often say that earthquakes do not kill people, building skilled people. the importance -- building codes are very important as a navigation tool. that includes the high consequence, low probability events as well as the more frequent events. a yellowstone eruption is sort of the tail end of the probability. it happens every several hundred
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thousand years. it is obviously a high consequence event. host: this is a map that became familiar to many of us last friday as we were watching the earthquake and resulting tsunami wave as it was projected to travel across the pacific. i have a tweet about tsunamis. it is asking if seattle is protected by puget sound. guest: i would have to hand off to our colleagues at noaa. there certainly is a tsunami threat for puget sound. the candy from locally generated events like a
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landslide and from a more distant event. is my understanding that puget sound is relatively protected from a pacific-wide tsunami. they do not get much movement in contrast to some areas on the coast. crescent city, calif., had waves of 112 feet. there are places on the coast where the waves are focused and concentrated. host: we have a couple of minutes left. let's take a call from charleston, south carolina. that is on the map with the earthquake risk. you are on the air. caller: dr. applegate, i wanted to ask you about the subduction zone around charleston.
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i was wondering about the probability of an event happening again. guest: the good news is that there is not a subduction zone. most of the subduction zones are found from the pacific basin, the ring of fire. there is a small one in the caribbean. we do have potential for subduction zone earthquakes there. we do not think there is the potential for a magnitude 9. in the case of south carolina there are these crestal falls. these may be old structures that have been reactivated. the 1886 earthquake did considerable damage to a brick buildings. that is our principal concern when we think about a magnitude 6 or 7 in that area. that is the and reinforced masonry structures. we saw this in christchurch, new zealand.
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the earthquake was a magnitude 6.3 that occurred a few weeks ago. there were a lot of brick buildings from the same time. of 1880 -- there were a lot of brick buildings from the same time period of the 18 eighties. the map indicates it is in the low probability, high consequence type of things. we estimate is about a 7% to 10% chance of a repeat of the event. that is probably in the same ballpark for south carolina. host: the last call is from queens, new york. caller: i consider volcanoes to be the venting process of the planet. consider gravity is trying to squeeze the planet and keep us on the ground. on the ground.

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